ONE TOO MANY

Field and Stream - - GIANT -

BUCK: 6 ⁄8 “KLONDIKE,” A 180 -INCH TYP­I­CAL HUNTER: JARED LURK, PHARMACIST, DRURY OUT­DOORS TEAM MEM­BER LO­CA­TION: IOWA DATE OF KILL: DEC. 21, 2015

THE CAM­PAIGN

In 2011 I got pics of a great buck, and when he showed up again on cam­era in mid Oc­to­ber 2012, he stopped me in my tracks. I named him Klondike, be­cause get­ting him would be like strik­ing gold.

Prob­lem was, I was al­ready ob­sessed with an­other huge buck I’d named Hightower. I’d been hunt­ing him since 2006, and seen him only a dozen times or so in that time— and I prob­a­bly sat 30 times for ev­ery en­counter or two. I was out of my mind over Hightower. Hon­estly, I let my quest for him cut too much into my fam­ily time.

Fi­nally in 2013, I killed Hightower dur­ing the late muz­zleloader sea­son. At 184 and change, it was the big­gest buck of my life. But when Klondike showed up on cam­era in Septem­ber of 2014, he was just about as big. I re­ally wanted this deer, but I knew I couldn’t put my­self or my fam­ily through an­other cam­paign like the one with Hightower. But I also re­al­ized that I didn’t have to.

Hightower was an over-thetop ob­ses­sion, but what I learned from hunt­ing him al­lowed me to chase this new quest much more ef­fi­ciently. I went over my his­tory with Hightower, and my trail-cam

record of both bucks, and I noted the pe­ri­ods when the deer showed up in day­light. Then I con­cen­trated my hunt­ing on sim­i­lar days, and my ra­tio of sight­ings to sits with Klondike went way up. In 2015, I had a new baby and couldn’t hunt him un­til the last part of the sea­son. I killed him on my third sit, on the open­ing day of muz­zleloader sea­son. —D.H.

Eat­ing Late Af­ter a long breed­ing sea­son, big bucks feed heav­ily.

“Klondike,” Lurk, and son Henry.

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